‘Al-Aqsa’ exclusive place of worship for Muslims: OIC

Hussein Ibrahim Taha, the secretary general of OIC, made the remarks at an open-ended extraordinary meeting of the body’s Executive Committee on Saturday, which was held to discuss the continued Israeli aggression on al-Aqsa, following the regime forces’ violent raid against Palestinian worshipers who were observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan there.
“Al-Quds is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of the State of Palestine, and that the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in its entirety, is the exclusive place of worship for Muslims,” Taha said.
He also denounced the brutal assault by Israeli regime forces on Palestinians performing Ramadan-related rituals in the compound, saying the move was “a flagrant violation of the sanctity of holy sites, freedom of worship, as well as the Geneva Convention and relevant United Nations resolutions.”
Taha further slammed the policies of the occupying regime aimed at changing the statutes quo of the compound, reiterating that any attempt to alter the historical and legal status of the holy sites, particularly the al-Aqsa Mosque has no legal effect and is null and void based on international law.  
The OIC chief also warned that these measures by Israeli forces will stoke tension, instability, and insecurity in the region, holding the occupying regime responsible for the consequences of these “dangerous” crimes and violations.
Dozens of heavily armed Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday night before firing tear gas and stun grenades into the Qibli prayer hall, where hundreds of men, women, elderly people and children were staying overnight to pray. Some eyewitnesses said rubber-coated steel bullets were also fired.
Israeli officers then beat worshipers with batons and riot guns, wounding many, before arresting them.
Videos from inside the mosque showed Israeli officers repeatedly hitting people with batons while they appeared to lie on the floor. In the meantime, the cries for help from women and children could be heard in the background.
Since the start of the holy month, the Israeli regime has imposed strict restrictions on the entry and exit of Palestinians to and from the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque. Amid heightened tensions with Palestinian worshipers, Israeli settlers also press ahead with their frequent incursions and provocative rituals at the holy site.

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